Clearing up after October gales

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The stormy autumn weather of October has brought problems needing urgent safety work for the volunteers who care for Ludlow’s Whitcliffe beauty spot.
High winds severely damaged several trees. In one instance the damage to an ash tree was so bad that special permission had to be sought from Shropshire Council Environment department to fell it.
Friends of Whitcliffe Common chairman Daphne Jones said, “It was clear the ash tree was a danger to walkers on what is one of the common’s most used paths. We are conscious of the need for us, as the managers of Whitcliffe, to ensure the safety of the public.
“So, in conjunction with the Shropshire Wildlife tree surgeon, we sent photographs to the council who immediately gave permission to fell the tree for safety reasons.”
Julie Davies of the council’s Natural Environment Team, said, “We looked at the photos FOWC sent to us with a Tree Officer and agreed that the ash tree was imminently dangerous and was therefore exempt from the normal conservation area notification. It meant the removal of the tree could go ahead without any delay.”
Mrs Jones said the SWT tree surgeon, together with 7 volunteers from FOWC, worked all day to remove the tree and clean up the area. A section of the trunk has been left for wildlife habitat and wood from the small branches had been distributed to local senior citizens who support the work of FOWC. The remaining brash will have to be burnt.
Work on a number of other damaged trees remains to be done but in these cases the damage is not seen as a safety issue.
Mrs Jones concluded, “FOWC would like to thank these people who have contacted us recently. They are well aware of what the weather conditions have done on Whitcliffe and are so appreciative of the voluntary work we undertake in dealing with these situations.
“FOWC is also grateful to the volunteers who work in all conditions to ensure that Whitcliffe remains such an asset to Ludlow.”

These photos show FOWC volunteers working with the SWT tree surgeon Matt to make the area safe. Photo 2 shows why the work was needed.

THe cherry picker was used on a separate  job undertaken by FOWC with its tree surgeon Alan Jones. He and the volunteers were working on the cliff face overlooking the Charlton Arms car park. It was the second part of the work designed to make the cliff face safe.